Horror video game Among the Sleep finally has a release date for the PlayStation 4. The atmospheric horror title will launch digitally on the PlayStation Store on December 10. In a post announcing the release date on the PlayStation Blog, Kristine Halvorsen, the Chief of Marketing & Community Development at the game’s developer Krillbite Studios describes Among the Sleep as “a psychological horror game where you play as a two year old child. You get to experience the world through the eyes of a toddler with a vivid imagination that could easily scare your pants off. We wanted to create an atmospheric horror game with an eerie feeling of helplessness.”
Among the Sleep‘s PlayStation 4 version was originally announced in May of 2014, shortly before the game’s initial PC release on May 29, 2014. There’s been little information other then that for more than a year now and for a while I wondered if the port had been quietly cancelled due the lukewarm reviews the title got on it’s initial release. As it happens Krillbite explained the delay, noting that the process of moving the game from PC to PlayStation 4 required a lot more work than they had expected.
“The porting required a conversion of our game engine, Unity. This project has been moved from Unity 3.0, to 3.5 and so forth all the way up to the most recent version 5.2. We wanted the game to look the best and work perfectly with the PlayStation 4 hardware. We had to redo the lightmapped levels and we had to rebake everything, which is fancy developer speak for fixing lights and putting it all together.
Another time-consuming issue with conversion were related to the physics engine used in the game. Unity uses Nvidia PhysX which has been completely redone in the newer versions of Unity. We encountered a lot of weird and funny bugs because of this. We saw chairs floating and doing 360s as you grabbed them, and apples flying hundreds of kilometres an hour. Among the Sleep was actually quite fun with fruit flying around randomly, but it sort of broke the atmosphere so we made the apples go back to their fruitbowl.
One of the coolest things in the PlayStation version of the game is the full audio-visual upgrade – Among the Sleep now has even better graphics and an even better sound experience. We think frame rate is an essential part of a good game experience and have worked hard to get the game to run at a proper 60 frames per second. This was probably the biggest part of the upgrade and it makes for a super smooth experience and does a lot for immersion!”
Halvorsen also noted the studio’s enthusiasm to finally be finishing the port. “We are a young studio and we started making this game in school. We made a lot of strange stuff and code at the beginning of the project that has been coming back to bite us in our behinds during the porting process! But we have also learned so much that will help us make our next game development experience much smoother!”
“We are so proud of the PlayStation 4 version of the game and can’t wait for you to get your hands on it! You guys will be one of the first to be able to experience the commentary edition! The PC community have given us so much love for this horror game and we hope you will enjoy this even more polished version of the game this Christmas!”
Among the Sleep is also scheduled to come to the Xbox One and with the PlayStation 4 version so close I can’t imagine the Xbox port will be far behind.